HOUNDLOVER1   17,591
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PBS series Food Forward highlights viable alternatives to the industrial food system

Monday, March 19, 2012

Here is a trailer to something that looks promising:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-LINDA_S 3/20/2012 6:15PM

    Thanks! I'll have to check it out!

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EXOTEC 3/20/2012 1:46PM

    Durn. It started last night. =(

I wonder if you can get copies?

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 3/20/2012 11:14AM

  this is awesome thanks

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HEALTHY4ME 3/20/2012 7:41AM

    OH wow that is awesome, but cos I am in Canada I can't find out when it airs. Need a US zipcode. But will be hoping they show a commercial for it so I can see when it is on.

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Natural alternatives to the top-10 most prescribed drugs

Monday, March 19, 2012

I saw this list today and thought it is worth passing on.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOOPETTE 3/20/2012 2:46PM

    very interesting, thx!

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DRAWNTHISWAY 3/20/2012 7:39AM

    It is an interesting list, thank you for sharing it with us.

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CAROLIAN 3/20/2012 3:40AM


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Common safety concerns about barefoot running

Sunday, March 11, 2012

There are already many blogs and forums that address all the questions that people have about the wisdom or barefoot running. I share many of the concerns that are common but have still decided to do some of my running miles completely barefoot from now on.
Here is a short version of how I've dealt with the concerns:
1. What to do about stepping in a rusty nail or other object
The easiest way to step into a rusty nail is not on the average street but in places where objects are hard to see: in grass, in sand or in water. The one time I stepped into rusty nail I was walking through a shallow stream in sandals. It hurt like hell, I got some antibiotics and an update of my tetanus shot right away and the injury healed in about a week. Having a tetanus shot every 10 years, and more often for people who are at higher risk is a good idea for anyone.
2. Stepping into things that are unpleasant
This can be avoided by looking where we are going. There are bacteria on the surface we walk or run on barefoot but not as many as in our shoes, a moist environment that bacteria love.
3. Possibility of getting blisters
People who take off their shoes and gradually walk barefoot more will develop tough skin on the bottom of their feet. This is no different than guitar players developing calluses on their finger tips very quickly when they play regularly. The key is to listen to our body and stop when it starts getting uncomfortable. Our bodies are incredibly adaptable. The calluses that develop do not look rough and ugly but like fairly normal skin, just thicker. If you don't believe me look at some feet of barefoot runners on youtube.
4. Getting stone bruises
Stepping on occasional small pieces of gravel on an otherwise smooth road is a little uncomfortable, but no more so than getting a piece of gravel caught in our sandals. We stop, remove it and forget about it. When I ran barefoot for two miles yesterday this happened more than once. My body immediately, without conscious thought, adjusted by my spreading my weight differently for that step. This is the miracle of our brain responding by initiating movement in response to pressure. My conscious self was merely observing after the fact.
5. Taking shoes off will lead to overuse injuries
This one is true - if we don't listen to our body
Any running through pain and even discomfort can lead to injuries. Pain is the body's natural signal to slow down or stop. We can mentally override mild or sometimes even severe pain responses in an emergency (when we are chased by a Grizzly) but most of the time we should not try to ignore pain.
For any new activity we start we need to gradually condition or body. How long this takes depends on the number and size of muscle groups and connective tissue, age, speed of the movement, duration etc.
6. Going barefoot will only work for "normal" feet
There are situations where barefoot running is not a good idea. Examples are a comromised immune system, diabetes and other problems of circulation in the legs that make minor infections more dangerous.
Having flat feet or overpronating are not reasons to avoid barefooting. Using muscles in the foot that were not used much while wearing shoes every day can improve overall foot health dramatically. There are many barefoot runners who report that their feet develop nice arches after months of barefoot running. There is much discussion about this among podiatrists currently whether orthotics help or hurt.
This does not mean that there are not foot problems where going barefoot is contraindicated. If in doubt do your own research.
On the plus side I have to report that beyond the benefits of saving money on running shoes and making good running form easier that my own biggest worry, that of stumbling and getting bloody toes, has not happened. Even in my minimalist shoes I will occasionally stumble towards the end of a run when I get tired and don't lift my feet as much. I typically catch the front of the shoe and can usually catch myself. Barefoot this has not happened. My body knows it's own dimensions better than I thought, proprioception at it's best.
7. Looking like a weirdo
Yes, if you live in redneck country this could be a problem. emoticon
In most other places not so much.
I did feel a little self-conscious as I was jogging in my jeans when I did not have time to switch into running gear yesterday, holding a pair of VFF's (Vibram Five Fingers) in my hand (in case my feet needed them) going down the local trail. A couple of people smiled, amused at what I was doing. Nobody seemed offended, maybe curious. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISEIGHT 3/13/2012 10:02AM

    I have always thought that barefoot running meant wearing shoes that are minimalistic! I am happily surprised that you are taking it as far as actually running bare feet, that sounds really interesting! I love walking bare feet, outside, inside, wherever, but when i got my new trainers (dance slippers actually), I found it really weird to adapt to walking without leading strongly with my heels, and that is exactly why barefoot running is right: our bodies know what to do, shoe designers who want to make you buy to most expensive shoe possible don't want you to know that!
I have ordered new Vivo trainers to start running with a friend.. shall see how that goes, and then, when the weather gets better, and my body is used to running again, I shall even try with no shoes on at all....
Great post, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience!

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-LINDA_S 3/12/2012 7:07PM

    It's doubtful I'll ever run unless I'm being chased, but I'm somewhat interested in "earthing" aka "grounding" and being connected to the earth. I do worry about fire ants, since they're here in NC, so I'm a little leery of just walking barefoot. I have very flat feet and a supposedly compromised immune system so I'm not sure where that leaves me...

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RAINBOWCHARMER 3/12/2012 12:30PM

    Great info. Thanks! :) I'm not sure I'm up for barefoot yet, but have downgraded my shoes which is working well for me for the time being. Maybe I'll brave the barefoot thing one of these days. Wish I could do the VFFs, but due to webbed toe issues, that's out. :( Bummer, as that would have been my ideal running shoe I think.

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FLAMENM 3/11/2012 10:32PM

    Well, looking silly has never stopped me from exercising. because I know I look hilarious when I exercise. But who cares? I look better AFTER I exercise and get myself healthier and healthier.

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FREELADY 3/11/2012 7:32PM

    I love your fresh thinking.

You have processed these concerns sensibly and thoroughly. It's a big help to me. Thank you!

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MAGGIE101857 3/11/2012 6:24PM

    Funny how we ran barefoot as children and no one thought any different about what we were doing? Now we are adults and have to "justify"(I use the word loosely here) it! Your blogs are always very informative and interesting - have enjoyed following your journey as you explore new diets and workouts!

Keep up the good work! emoticon

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DJ4HEALTH 3/11/2012 5:49PM

    I wish that I could do that but I have problems with my ankle and I also have Lupus which makes me prone to infections faster. So that is out. I am glad that you are able to do it. Walking barefoot is fun and I can't do that too much since I don't have much fat to cushion my foot against the ground and is very painful too. Have to wear shoes all the time except in bed. emoticon

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KRISZTA11 3/11/2012 5:32PM

    As always, thank you for your information.
You really inspire me to try this,
even though I will definitely be considered a weirdo ...
But I never cared about that : )

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CONRADBURK 3/11/2012 4:17PM

    Wow, you have put a lot of thought into running barefoot! I didn't realize there was so much to it. I walk at home without shoes all the time, but haven't developed calloused feet. My feet are still quite tender. I am just a tenderfoot!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HISTORYRUNNER 3/11/2012 4:16PM

    Thank you for the quick and informative intro you've given here. It's a great intro and as you say, there are tons of detailed sites on the Internet for the truly curious/converted.

Although personally I think I'm perfectly happy running with minimalist shoes, I'm convinced that barefoot running is a perfectly fine alternative with lots of long-term health benefits. Having transitioned once already from traditional running to minimalist, I'm just too lazy to do another transition. Perhaps if I'd gone to barefoot at the outset I'd be writing this fine post instead of you (see, it's all jealousy raging just beneath the surface!) emoticon emoticon emoticon

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4 easy steps to minimalist or barefoot running

Saturday, March 10, 2012

1. Take one week to walk around the house barefoot a lot; jog in place or from room to room in the house for a few minutes every day during this week
2. In week two start walking barefoot outside on a fairly smooth but firm surface (asphalt is ideal) as long as you are comfortable; try an easy jog of about 1/4 mile maximum
3. Starting with week 3 increase your jogging barefoot by a 1/4 mile per week until you reach 2 miles.
4. After this, increase you barefoot miles very slowly over the course of another 2 months until you are at a comfortable training level.
When you start step 4 you can switch to minimalist shoes if that seems more appealing. Have someone take a video of you running from front and back and from the side and watch it to see if you are doing what you think you are doing. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 3/12/2012 12:39PM

    makes sense to me.

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PAPAMIKIE 3/11/2012 6:02PM

    Some links to two different ways to video tape a runner.



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HEALTHY4ME 3/11/2012 9:02AM

    Are you not afraid of glass, small rocks or just unwanted in the sole of your foot objects. I understand the shoes with toes, and the minimalist footwear idea but don't think I would want to walk barefoot.
And paleo- you are doing great. I still find I don't know what to make. I don't miss my bread ect as much but still find go to the reg. meals often just eliminating the bread and dairy.
have a great run!

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KRISZTA11 3/11/2012 6:49AM

    Good advice, thank you!

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FLAMENM 3/11/2012 12:40AM

    I just stared walking in my Five FIngers. I'm not a runner, but a walker. And as my technique improved, so did my times....

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First Barefoot Run of the Season - Barefoot vs. Minimalist Running

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It was short, only 0.6 miles on asphalt. Once the road turned to chip-sealed I could only keep going another 100 feet or so comfortably. The weather was over 60 degrees so I was definitely not cold. My running felt no different to me than running in my Vibram Five Fingers or any other minimalist shoes but that does not mean that it wasn't different. I think I will continue to do this and build up my distance a little each time. Today my total running time was only about 20 minutes, although I did a fair amount of walking as well. It seems that I'm a little more tired these last few days as my body is switching back to ketosis.

Until now I had mostly been running in minimalist shoes and I used these since my first steps towards becoming a runner 2 years ago, the couch to 5 K program.
The definition of minimalist shoe to me is anything that has a completely flexible sole that will bend easily in both directions, has no heel or arch support, has no or almost no cushioning and lots of room for toes to spread out. When I first started minimalist running was still not very common. I started a thread about it on another well-known exercise forum and there were only 2-3 people who were taking me seriously. None of our local sports and outdoor equipment stores carried any minimalist running shoes. Things have changed a great deal since then. There are hundreds of different models and brands of minimalist shoes for all types of running, walking and other sports, including boots and dress shoes. Most shoe and sports equipment stores have at least a few models and their sales people have at least a vague idea what minimalist means. By the way, there is no "barefoot" shoe. Barefoot means the absence of shoes (in spite of what some shoe manufacturers would like us to believe through naming their product).
So why does it matter? Well, people who have been running in traditional running shoes with lots of padding and support are used to running with very little ground feel. Their running technique is affected by their choice of shoes. When switching away from traditional running shoes people have to learn a very different style of running. It's almost better to consider this a different sport, sort of like the difference between tennis and table tennis. There are different muscles working, many of them in the feet and ankles, and at a different intensity. Part of learning the correct form is to have the best ground feel possible, something that can not be done as easily in any kind of shoe, even the thinnest, most flexible kind. Depending on what surface you run on, even the very thin cushioning of a minimalist shoe could still make heel striking possible and that needs to be avoided because that is what causes many running injuries and wear and tear on joints but also causes a braking action with every step.
Once the running technique is good putting on minimalist shoes won't do any damage any more. Still, I like the idea of an occasional tune-up to test my running form just like people who ride horses occasionally ride without stirrups and/or bareback to test how balanced and relaxed their seat is. In running, like in riding, balance is very important. When we are balanced we need less muscle strength for efficient forward movement. Learning to move from our center (both physically and emotionally) helps us to engage our core muscles but without rigidity, instead it is a flexible strength. When I talk about core muscles I am not just talking about abs but about all the muscles that enable us to lengthen through our spine. At the same time our limbs swing naturally and relaxed and in rhythm. The amazing thing is that this way of moving does not all have to be learned, although this is possible (Chi running is the best example), but just taking our shoes off and looking ahead where we are going while running at a very easy and relaxed pace will give the most benefit. This does assume running on a firm surface because on grass or soft dirt it is possible to heel strike and over stride even when barefoot.
If you don't currently suffer from running injuries (they should be allowed to heal first) and want to reduce the chance of developing any and save your joints you may want to give barefoot or minimalist running a try. It's a great way of moving, especially for people who still have a couple of pounds to lose but want to go faster than walking.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDEEC09 3/11/2012 10:46PM

    Great information! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

I am coveting a pair of Saucony minimalist shoes. They're going to be my reward to myself when I complete C25K and I cannot wait to try them out. My current running shoes have a ton of cushion comparatively, so I definitely think it's wise to take make a gradual transition to barefoot running.

Awesome blog!

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STESSOUTCHICK1 3/10/2012 7:45PM

  Good 4 u. I will try to blog some where on my page. but
So far no luck. if I manage to do it please tell me
I am doing a good job.

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PATTYCAKE17 3/10/2012 10:38AM

    Good for you if you can run safely. emoticon

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PDQ1203 3/10/2012 9:43AM


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EGALITAIRE 3/10/2012 9:04AM

    Very good post - very informative - I had heard there were specific benefits to barefoot running, but didn't know the details - it all makes sense. When my brother and sisters were young we would go barefoot virtually the whole summer. We had a gravel road in front of our house and within a week or so of having our shoes off, we would be walking and running on the gravel road without a thought (they were tender at first, but quickly toughened up)

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CONRADBURK 3/10/2012 8:13AM

    I am glad that you had a good barefoot run. Although I did not say anything, I was concerned that you might injure your feet without the protection of shoes. One day many years ago, I went for a run on the beach and developed large blisters on the balls of my feet. I have very tender feet. It may be important to toughen your feet. But I am glad your run went well!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRISZTA11 3/10/2012 4:30AM

    I'll try it, to improve my running form - I'm just not sure where, I haven't found an safe surface yet.
Thank you for the nice summary.

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